By FELIX MALUNGA –
VETERAN boxer Masozi ‘Drago’ Kamanga has appealed to the Zambia Professional Boxing and Wrestling Control Board (ZPBWCB) to release the latest national ratings for boxers before calling for mandatory title defences.
Kamanga, a cruiserweight, said it was difficult at the moment for the boxers to know who were the first contenders or national champions in various categories due to ZPBWCB’s failure to regularly release the ratings.
He said in an interview in Ndola yesterday that national ratings helped to see which boxers were still active and those who have retired from the ring.
“I am appealing to ZPBWCB to be doing ratings for us boxers regularly. As it is at the moment, you may challenge somebody who has already retired for a fight. By regularly announcing national ratings, it is easy to to see which boxers are still active,” the 44-year-old, who plans a return to the ring after a two and half years absence, said.
Kamanga said after the retirment of Mike Chilambe, he believed the national cruiserweight belt was vacant and that he was supposed to be the first contender to the title.
“A lot of national belts are vacant and this has adversely affected the growth of the sport in Zambia,” he said.
Kamanga, whose last fight was a non-title contest against Anos Temfuma which he lost on split points, said at the moment only a few lucky boxers were able to fight through some international promotions organised locally.
He also demanded that ZPBWCB should ensure only national champions were allowed to fight for international titles.
“Those aiming for international titles should first prove themselves locally by being national champions before venturing out,” Kamanga, whose last crack at the national title ended in defeat to Francis ‘Galagata’ Zulu in 2003, said.
On whether he was contemplating retirement, Kamanga said he had never stopped training and that he would continue fighting as long as his body allows him to do so.
“Years are nothing but a number. George Foreman retired at 48 while Evander Holyfield, I believe he still active,” the 44-year-old Kamanga said.